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cocoa beach surf fishing Archives - Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Space Coast Fall Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Active waters made for a lively surf fishing scene here on the Space Coast. The mullet run continues to deliver bubbling surfaces with predatory fish like tarpon, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks and sharks taking full advantage. Each day has brought with it waves of mullet, pilchards and horn bellies sweeping down the beach. This in turn has resulted in varying schools being ambushed at local area beaches with the higher tide proving to be the most successful.

Surf Fishing Sebastian Inlet

Opportunities at hand have been thwarted specifically when the seaweed and dirty water takes over. The abundance of seaweed can restrict one’s ability to access the first and second trough with any effectiveness. Not all days encountered this issue. Certain days provided ample conditions while others just simply were too detrimental to access the fish. Reports varied on a daily basis. Cocoa Beach was freed of the inhibiting seaweed later in the week while Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet beaches had an influx after the northeasterly winds shifted the seaweed south.

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

All in all, plenty of fish are being caught with the above-mentioned seaweed issues. The persistent surf fishermen are having success with whiting, short pompano, bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle and sharks, caught on bait or lures. Fresh cut bait deployed in the exploding first trough resulted in the majority of bluefish and sharks, while a rapidly retrieved spoon created catches of ladyfish, jack crevalle and a few Spanish mackerel. Fresh dead shrimp, sand fleas and Fishbites brought home the targeted whiting, pompano and sheepshead for supper.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Charters

Relying upon one method of surf fishing isn’t a wide choice this time of year. The wide variety of species running the shores has resulted in our surf fishing charters staying flexible and diverse. Running surf fishing equipment for sharks and tarpon while coinciding with light tackle, live bait fishing and dead sticks with pompano rigs for pompano and whiting. This playbook ensures a unique approach to let the current conditions dictate the most effective manner to target fish with the multiple opportunities on hand.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Exciting times are upon us as everyone eagerly awaits the first major schools of pompano to show. The water clarity has continuously improved from prior weeks, which will dictate the probability of success when the pompano do make their presence in Brevard County waters. The lone rangers and resident fish are currently present but the big numbers are still up the coast north of Jacksonville. With all that being considered, it’s just a matter of weeks coupled with a few cold fronts to get the show underway.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Space Coast surf fishing delivered mixed results with varying conditions being the main contributing factor. Certain days were definitely more productive than others, while location played a significant role as well. Tarpon, snook, sharks, pompano, bluefish and catfish were amongst the frequently seen species. With the mullet run still in full swing, it’s been a roll of the dice on which beaches and tides have delivered the best results with the correlating bait migration.

Surf Fishing for Pompano on the Space Coast

Live bait fishing the trough continues to bring in big catches of tarpon, snook, bluefish and sharks. Tarpon rolling and feeding close to shore gives surf fishing anglers an opportunity to hook into a trophy sports fish. Multiple hookups on tarpon with live or chunked dead bait left anglers chasing these acrobatic powerhouses down the shore edge. Hooking into these mystical beasts is one thing, but actually getting them to shore for a safe release becomes an entirely different challenge. While employing these live and dead bait rigs the sharks have also been prevalent, so be prepared for cutoffs if you don’t have wire leaders.

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

The flurry of mullet ceases to amaze me day in and day out watching tarpon and sharks crashing through these schools. With the above mentioned tactics being ignored, we have been able to find keeper pompano and bluefish also in the mix. Plenty of short pompano are being caught in between these keepers, but persistence pays with filets of pompano rewarding those consistently targeting these fish. Blanched sand fleas with white clam or pink shrimp Fishbites on a pompano rig performed well this week while fishing either side of the high tide. Water clarity maintains the single largest contributing factor for finding success with pompano, so put in the due diligence in finding optimal conditions.

Snook Fishing the Space Coast

No matter the efforts put in, the sharks continue to dominate the lively ocean realm. Food-driven bait leads to other predatory fish which in turn leads to sharks. Plenty of cutoffs have been delivered by these toothy specimens in search of our edible target species. With that being said, now is an incredible time for shark fishing from the shore on local area beaches. Blacktips reign supreme with a crushing strike and aerialist display for those live or chunked baits fishing the first or second trough.

All in all it’s been a rollercoaster ride each day fishing the Space Coast beaches depending on water clarity and seaweed as to catches of catfish or your intended species. Multiple days led by afternoon southern winds dirtied waters to the benefit of catfish. These adaptable scent feeders can tarnish any hopes for riches with each strike, seeing their whiskers approaching the shore! Fish hard and diversify your setup to open up all the possibilities on offer for the current season, all while knowing each day will deliver something completely different. Have fun and be safe!

Snook Fishing Sebastian Inlet

Space Coast Fall Mullet Run

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

The fall mullet run in Florida has hit full stride over the past week. Schools of baitfish with the majority being mullet are pouring down Space Coast beaches. This in turn has triggered exceptional surf fishing with snook, flounder, bluefish, and ladyfish taking full advantage of this opportunity. With the listed species having been caught up and down the Brevard coast, the majority of consistent catches are being reported from Patrick Air Force Base south to Sebastian Inlet.

Fall Mullet Run on the Space Coast

Taking part in this fishery can be multifaceted with many options available. My preferred method involves live bait or artificial lures with a minimal setup to keep things mobile. Casting rod, castnet and small tackle bag is all that’s needed. Check multiple locations for key signs of life including diving birds, fleeing baitfish and crashing fish. Once you find the increased activity, deploy a live mullet, croaker or threadfin in the first trough and hang on. If live bait isn’t an option, walk the shores in the same pattern with a bucktail jig, lipped diving plug, or swim bait.

Fall Snook Fishing on the Space Coast

Presentation holds the key to success so take note of the conditions on hand. The size of the surf, current, and wind dictates what size weight and how to hook the bait for the preferred action desired. I prefer the bait slightly restricted rolling in the trough being pulled in and out with the wave’s motion. Depending on conditions, use anywhere from a split shot to a two-ounce weight to maintain the ideal areas for ambush feeding. Light tackle makes a ton of fun for catching these fish in the shallower depths, rewarding the efforts of surf anglers with prized species of snook and flounder.

Surf Fishing for Flounder

Realizing the changing of the seasons is just on the horizon has many anglers efforts focused on the mullet run, but this doesn’t mean the traditional surf fishing method with pompano rigs isn’t an effective approach currently. Whiting continues to be consistent on a rising tide and also pompano with the majority being undersized. Fishbites and live sand fleas continue to perform best when fishing this rising tide targeting the outflows running off the beach. Don’t be surprised if a snook, bluefish or ladyfish engulf this setup as well. Additionally, the pompano rig with live or dead mullet has accounted for many snook catches as well.

In summary, I’m excited to keep working the bait schools and dabble with.

Cocoa Beach & Sebastian Inlet Snook Fishing

the pompano and whiting. Knowing just around the corner the snook and baitfish will abate leading into the full-blown pompano run. Changing out gear and tactics for chasing one of my favorite fish will return just as soon as the water temperature creeps down. So for now it’s taking advantage of the wild fishery that is the fall mullet run and prepping the tackle for the first schools of pompano that are soon to arrive. Enjoy the explosiveness that’s defining our fishery currently and what’s coming in the upcoming months.

Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing the Space Coast set ablaze over the past week. Pompano showed a stronger presence with anglers catching them consistently fishing from Cocoa Beach south to Vero Beach. That wasn’t the only highlight happening though, with catches of permit, snook, tarpon and sharks possibly stealing the show. Not to be forgotten was the increased activity in keeper-sized whiting, bluefish, mackerel and ladyfish that kept the mix busy.

The combination of clean water, calm seas and the fall mullet run established a lively scene on beaches stretching the entirety of Brevard County. This in turn led to an increased catch rate of the target species listed above. Flurries of bait fish swarming down the coast lit up southern beaches with aerialist predatory species launching from below. Frenzies of bluefish and mackerel infiltrated central area beaches while the larger concentrations of snook and tarpon ran supreme in southern beaches. No matter what species you had on the line, the sharks being so prevalent, many rigs were sharked off or discounted on the way to shore by the taxman.

Shark fishing trips near Cocoa Beach south to Sebastian Inlet had families reeling in multiple sharks a day. Tread lightly this time of year as the waters are literally teeming with life and the sharks especially are taking full advantage. Even when running live bait rigs for snook, tarpon, mackerel or blues, it’s been common to hook up with large blacktips and lemon sharks. Understanding the current conditions leaves surf fishing anglers no choice but to concede the prize and deal with the relentless circumstances of the shark-rich waters.

Table fare fish hit the upswing in multiples in the prior week with outstanding catches on double digit whiting, large pompano and mackerel abound. Always reliable and delicious to be in a good whiting bite as these crustacean eaters wet any veteran surf anglers palate. Then the surf rod does the triple bounce and bends with such might that only the prized pompano accentuates. Blanched or live sand fleas combined with a chartreuse crab or electric chicken Fishbites pulled in the majority of the keeper pompano. Plenty of small pompano are in the surf as well, but the larger fish over 14-15” are being seen with consistency from Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a trophy permit with the rig mentioned above. Surf fishing guide Eric landed this beautiful permit with clients who booked a guided beach fishing excursion this past week.

Looking forward, I’m excited to continue the transition from summer to fall and watch the migratory species really take hold when the temperatures begin to drop. Until then our surf fishing charters will take full advantage of the species on tap and adjust accordingly as the conditions shift. The last few days brought wind and dirtier waters on the northern beaches of Brevard, but this hasn’t halted the catches coming onto the beach. No matter where your location is along our Space Coast I would strongly encourage getting out there and hitting the surf fishing. It’s not every day you can catch everything from a permit to pompano or snook, tarpon or shark on the very same rig… let that one soak in!

 

Pre-Fall Space Coast Surf Fishing Report & Forecast

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Fall is upon us and what an exciting time it is for surf fishing anglers on the Space Coast. The annual fall mullet run will be ignited into another dimension with the baitfish pouring down our coastline. Mix this annual occurrence with a change in the weather and water temps and look for a dynamic fishery over this fall period. Snook, tarpon, flounder, jack crevalle, bluefish, sharks and much more compete for the available resources. Many days can turn into an all out feeding frenzy with shark and fish species hurling through the air leaving the water’s surface boiling with action.

Look for snook fishing to reign supreme as the top topic of discussion during the mullet run.  This time of year has always been a favorite for most as the ease of access and productive opportunities go hand in hand. Simply grab a spinning rod rigged with 20-40lb braided line accompanied by a swim bait, diving plug, or top water action and walk the shores casting and retrieving in the various pockets of concentrated baitfish. This opportunistic approach results in the full gamut of species to ensure no stone goes unturned. Matching the hatch of the size of baitfish also brings another level of success so always be keen to adjust lure size for those reasons.

Space Coast Snook Season

Snook fishing won’t be the only fishery firing off with the change in the weather. Tarpon and sharks will be hammering the migrating baitfish pods and the multiple fish species that coincide with this natural event. With the bluefish and Jack crevalle becoming so concentrated on these bait pods, the shark and tarpon lie beneath pouncing the entirety of the water column to capitalize. Generally, the larger of the tarpon and sharks will be just outside the surf casters range but this mullet run phenomenon provide just the opportunity one needs to bring them into the first and second trough making these species accessible for live bait casters or artificial lures.

Shark Fishing Charters | Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet

Not to be outdone by the headliner species of snook, tarpon and sharks, but the whiting,  pompano, Jack crevalle and bluefish make for a perfect family fun fishing trip. Highly active and engaging for all ages this time of year makes a rod bending seem like a breeze. Fish species ranging in all sizes will be abound with this flood of food charging down the waters edge. Look for sand fleas, fresh shrimp and clams rigged on a pompano rig tipped with Fishbites to keep the volume coming. This time of year the first large schools of pompano began to show from the north escaping the cooling waters and wintering to the south. All in all  for surf fishing anglers this seasonal event feels like Christmas comes early, so get out and take advantage of this transitional and rich fishery over the course of the period.

Family Fun Fishing Charters in Cocoa Beach

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing the Space Coast saw an improvement in conditions which led to a bountiful diversity of species to hit the shores. Snook, tarpon,  pompano and whiting were a few of the target fish that brought smiles all around. Shark fishing continued its steady pace with blacktip sharks making the most common appearances. Not all catches contained the thrills of the headliner species, with an abundance of croakers, catfish and rays to contend against. With that being said the bite was steady for bending a rod consistently including the smaller less desirable table fare fish.

Cleaner water conditions were the main factor resulting in phenomenal snook catches in the first or second trough. Many shore-based anglers went out specifically to target these large trophy fish. July, August and September are the traditional months for providing an opportunity to hook into a fish of a lifetime from the beach. Live bait including croakers, mullet and pinfish are the desired selections for targeting snook in the surf. Free lined or slightly weighted rigs with 40-60lb fluorocarbon leader matched with a 3/0-5/0 hook will be the setup for the task at hand. Read the water conditions for swell and current and use split shots when needed to attain the correct presentation.

Noting the fact on water clarity brought in a resurgence of pompano making their presence know to surf fishermen in the southern regions of the county. Larger fish were caught on live sandfleas, live shrimp and fresh clams with the chartreuse and white pompano floats performing best.  Match the above mentioned baits with Fishbites in the clam and crab flavor to provide a desirable scent and visual aid to the presentation of your pompano rigs. Short pompano were prevalent between the bigger keeper-sized fish but nonetheless, pompano are available in decent numbers at the moment.

Seasonal predatory species including sharks and tarpon also highlight the opportunities on tap for local surf fisherman. The bite should stay consistent through August and September for those interested at landing a  monster. Tarpon will be seen rolling at times in the first and second trough within casting distance for shoreline anglers. Use large sized suspending Rapala lures or big swim baits for targeting tarpon in the surf on artificial.  Live baits for snook and chunked bait like ladyfish and mullet will maintain the double edged sword for understanding both species are attainable. Blacktip sharks may surprise your goal of tarpon and snook when they take hold of your live or chunked bait. These acrobatic species will make short work of the fluorocarbon leaders but to hedge that chance be sure to use circle hooks for a better hook set in the corner of the mouth. It’s all on hand for those in pursuit so get out there and make a memory.

Summer Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Tropical storm Elsa didn’t put too much of a damper on the surf fishing conditions during the prior week, besides a couple of days that were too stormy to fish. Clients who had the opportunity to get out and enjoy surf fishing charters when weather permitted were rewarded with diverse catches of whiting, pompano, snook, sharks and croakers. While the croaker bit continues its red hot action we enjoy repurposing some of these catches for live bait rigs enticing the bigger snook patrolling the first trough. As these live bait rods soak our shark rigs have continued their dominance with Blacktip sharks galore and a smattering of other sharks alike.

Surf Fishing for Snook

With that being said it’s been extremely difficult to find any consistency on a day-to-day basis. Each particular day has held completely random conditions and species catches. About the only element that’s held stability is the croaker bite. Knowing you’re going to have your fair share of croakers be prepared for shorter soak times between catching and checking baits. For these reasons, we make it a point to diversify the options for fish and shark and use a multitude of setups to do so.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Charters

These alternatives to the traditional pompano rig with sandfleas and  Fishbites can provide the thrills needed to keep things exciting. When deploying live bait rigs with croakers or mullet one can expect to land trophy snook, tarpon, and sharks. Fresh chunked bait can also be used to achieve the same goals.

If one’s targeting the snook and tarpon I recommend using a fish finder rig with 40-80lb fluorocarbon leader 1-3ft in length and a one to two once sinker, as many of these fish aren’t extremely leader shy this time of year. If they’re feeding this will give you enough backbone to be prepared for a  fish of a lifetime. These same rigs can also be used without any weight-free lined letting the bait move unrestricted out past the first trough.

Shark Fishing Melbourne Beach Florida

Noting the inconsistency that’s played a part make sure to try different area beaches on opposing tides as well. Recently our surf fishing trips have been using this method to follow the fish and make it a point to not stick with a location that’s not producing. When doing so we continue to find large residential pompano, whiting, croakers, snook and sharks. Be flexible, be persistent and good things will come. Get out there, have fun and find some fish!

 

Summer Surf Fishing on the Space Coast

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Summer surf fishing in full swing on the beaches of the Space Coast.  Warmer waters have led to a full-blown changing of the guards on local area beaches with catches of pompano, bluefish and mackerel retreating to cooler water temperatures to the north. While residential pompano will still be cruising the shorelines it’s time to accept you will rarely reach a  daily limit on these species. The pompano that are around are larger size and will inhale the surf fishing rigs tipped with Fishbites and sandfleas but understand you’re going to have to weed through heaps of croakers, catfish,  and whiting.

The past week brought in dirtier water which has continued to persist while blue waters are just out of surf casting reach. With that being said at certain area beaches it’s relentless onslaughts of croakers, catfish, and whiting. Mainly croakers would be the species to single out in terms of soaking time on each pompano rig. As soon as it hits the water no quicker will you have a double croaker bite leaving little time for other species to discover the baits. If that isn’t enough keep in mind multiple rigs will be lost to sharks attacking your squirming catch in the trough and beyond.  Needless to say, it’s been a battle to attain a consistent dinner satisfying catch with the current state of affairs.

When the standard methods aren’t providing the thrills one may be in pursuit of its time to switch gears. That’s exactly what our guided shark fishing charters did this week tapping into a healthy amount of sharks in  the surf. Blacktip sharks, sandbar sharks and nurse sharks were had by  thrilled clients with rod bending drag screaming action. Nothing quite like hooking into a spiraling Blacktip with each acrobatic contortion peeling drag-like music to the ears. Clients celebrated each catch as a trophy in the experience that encompasses shark fishing from shore.

Recommended gear for the current climate of surf fishing has two different approaches in my opinion. Firstly using the dead stick method I suggest setting up a multitude of surf fishing equipment. Vary the setup between standard pompano rigs with the above-mentioned baits, while using heavier setups for live baits or chunked baits for shark, tarpon and snook.  Secondly, skip the setup and cast swim baits, diving plugs, and jigs to work the shorelines for snook, tarpon, and the occasional flounder. One method keeps you mobile with the advantage of covering ground and skipping the heavy hauling of a total gear setup. The other encourages a prolonged time period on the beach fishing to acquire the variety of specimens that each rig has the potential to attain. Either way, it’s a welcomed time to get out early or late and get a line wet. Have fun and get ’em on!

 

Summer Surf Fishing in the Space Coast

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Summer surf fishing patterns take hold, reigning in what looks to be a  great season for catching big snook, pompano, whiting, and sharks. The snook bite has already elevated itself to a degree that gives anglers the confidence to target these trophy sport fish. Wrapping up the last week of the snook season had many fishermen hit the beaches to find amazing success. Live baits such as croakers, mullet, and threadfins accounted for the majority of these slot-size fish and oversize fish that hit the shoreline over the past week.

Look for this trend to continue in the months ahead and remember with warmer water temps, fish being out of season, and larger fish being present to handle with care. Never hold the fish from the lip vertically, or touch the gills or eyes, and to always support fish in a horizontal manner with two hands, get a quick release, and don’t take excessive time with fish being out of the water. Another tip is to use circle hooks when live baiting to avoid gut hooked fish that increases the chance of injury or death.  Wetting one’s hands before handling a fish is another measure to ensure you don’t wipe away the fish’s protective slime which protects them from fungus and bacteria. Practicing these measures promotes a healthy fishery during the snooks spawning season which in turn will lead to increased numbers of fish for the future. It’s an incredible time to catch a memory and to practice these guidelines while also sharing with others.

Pompano fishing may not be the talk of the town compared to the winter months but let me assure you there are banner days to be had over the summer months. Many pompano reside in the area year-round so these fish are referred to as residential pompano. While the majority of larger schools travel north following their ideal water temps these residential fish can be found along Brevard County beaches for the entirety of the summer surf fishing season. Similar tactics can be implemented as the winter seasons with pompano rigs using chartreuse, orange, and white floats producing best. Match these pompano rigs with Fishbites,  sandfleas, shrimp, or clams for the ideal combination to target pompano in the surf. Don’t be surprised if you catch a trophy snook while targeting pompano and whiting, as numerous times these fish key in on crustaceans before the arrival of the mullet in the latter summer months.

In summary, it’s an exciting time to hit the beach knowing the diversity and opportunities on hand. Everything from catching dinner fish like pompano, whiting, and croaker up to the trophy class fish including snook, tarpon, and sharks. Water clarity will continue to drive success for the target species who feed primarily by sight, so put in the work to find areas depicting shades of blue and green. With that being said the diminishing seaweed problem accompanied by calmer winds will be beneficial as the days pass.  Enjoy the weeks ahead with family fishing trips to the beach accompanied by calm conditions and the exhilarating sensations all our coast has to provide.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Shore fishing charters have been a challenge to say the least, with the onslaught of apocalyptic seaweed combined with high winds and seas resulting in lots of canceled trips the week prior. Eager clients were chomping at the bit to get out and catch fish in the surf so I spent the weekend scouting and scouring our Space Coast beaches in search of an opportunity to wet the lines and get the fishing on. It was a depressing mission viewing each beach access up and down the coast covered up to three feet high in seaweed that stretched out beyond the breaking waves leaving no window for surf fishing success. In my entire life, Florida born and raised in the area, never have I seen such a sight as the prior two week period. Well, the search mission and ambition paid off, and I have great news that the waters are fishable, and they are teeming with life!

The seaweed layers awash were scattered through the surf zone making different tides and swell sizes favorable to attempt a go. While it wasn’t necessarily ideal surf fishing conditions, the show must go on. Starting over the weekend I began taking out trips and finding the cleanest waters to dictate my game plan. We were able to fish ten minute sets before seaweed inundated the fishing lines. The results varied each day of the week in terms of species frequency, but the similarities held true, it’s fishable and we were finally throwing lines out again.

Family fun fishing trips produced amazing results with toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents reeling in pompano, bluefish, whiting, catfish, and sharks. Early morning low light conditions produced double-header catfish at times, but as the sun reached higher in the sky and the tide backed out, it was game on for the pompano bite. Consistently catching pompano on each of our beach fishing trips, I was elated with the results of our efforts. Big pompano were hitting the shores bringing a smile to kids, adults, and the guide alike. Yes, there were challenging times and conditions the last couple of weeks, but it seems to have finally waned and opportunities await.

Numerous times this week double-digit pompano were being landed by those who were dialed in on the patterns. Just goes to show you, they’re not all in north Florida as many forums and opinions have constantly stated over the past few weeks. Take advantage and get in on these big slab pompano while the fun lasts.

Surf Fishing Tips

Species abound during this time of year with shark fishing charters producing blacktip sharks, snook, bluefish and stingrays. Fresh cut bait has been the key. It’s always an interesting time of year to see what picks up the shark rig with the possibility of landing a shark, snook, bluefish, tarpon, stingray or drum. With this being said, I usually prefer to run a diversified surf fishing setup for my clients this time of year. Running a handful of rods set with pompano rigs, a couple rods with live or chunked bait, a shark rod and a light tackle setup for casting to snook, jack and bluefish. Depending on how you approach the conditions, this time of year will dictate what species you may catch but the excitement of never fully knowing what’s going to grab hold makes this a surprisingly wonderful time of year. Go out and get some!

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